Attila (1954 film)

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Attila 17.jpeg
Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren in German DVD version of Attila
Directed by Pietro Francisci
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis
Starring Anthony Quinn
Sophia Loren
Music by Enzo Masetti
Distributed by Embassy (US)
Release date(s) 1954
Running time 118 minute
Country Italy, France
Language Italian
Box office $2 million (US)[1]

Attila (Italian: Attila, il flagello di Dio; French: Attila fléau de Dieu) is a 1954 Franco-Italian film co-production, directed by Pietro Francisci and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. Based on the life of Attila the Hun, it stars Anthony Quinn as Attila and Sophia Loren as Honoria, with Henri Vidal, Irene Papas, Ettore Manni and Christian Marquand. Scott Marlowe (1932–2001) made his screen debut in this film. It was an enormous box-office success, earning $2 million in the first ten days of its release. Along with The Pride and the Passion and Houseboat it was Loren's biggest success in the 1950s.


The story is based on the year 450 A.D. The Huns, an irresistible horde of barbarians from the distant deserts of Asia, driven by an insatiable hunger of prey, is moving toward the rich western lands of Germania. They are driven by a savage chief whose name is as talked about as the devil's, as threatening as a sword, is Attila.

Ezio, the Roman general born in Pannonia, the only person who knows Attila was in a continuation of legation with the Huns for years. He was carrying a message from the Roman empire of Ravenna to the Hun’s king Rua along with his companion Prisco. After reaching their place Ezio will come to know that the king passed away, and the two brother’s Bleda and Attila, together ruling the kingdom as per the wish of their uncle. Bleda, is the person who is in favour of peace and tolerance, but Attila is of the opposite persuasion. Though he named his son by the after his brother Bleda, but always he dreams for conquering the whole world one day. In the meeting, Onegesio, the counsellor for the Huns will describe how they are unhappy with the Romans, because of their ill behavior either by the bishop of Margus who is converting people to Christianity or they disobeyed the grave yard of the Huns ancestors. Because of this kind of insults Attila was not in favor of peace treaty, but with a compensation of money and other things Bleda was for. This will create a tension in between two brothers and their followers that will be end up by the death of Bleda, killed by Attila. The last word Bleda yelled was innocent blood won't be washed away, it will come back!!! Attila will declare himself as the sole leader of the Huns and win the heart of the people by dreaming them of conquering the Roman Emperor.

On the other hand the Roman emperor Ravenna, Valentiniano was a worthless to be a king. Who always was busy with the court singer and dancers. His step sister Onoria (Sophia Loren) was not at all happy in the Cassel and wants to get her share of the roman’s. As Ezio will return to Ravenna, because of the treaty of so much gold and money, the unhappy empire Rua will arrest him. That night Onoria will meet Ezio, and will propose for her game plan to declare war against Valentiniano. As her father was Ataúlfo, a different tribal origin, she bears the ambition of her father’s blood, and her blood is different from Valentiniano, she has no sympathy to him. But Ezio will refuse her by saying his loyalty to the Roman’s. He was very sure that when Attila will attack Italy, the mother of Valentiniano will realize and will take back him to his own position for the Romans. He cannot betray their faith.

As with the alliance with other tribal, Attila will approach Ravenna, Onoria will send a letter to Attila by offering herself as his wife and also join with him in the team. The leady cum priest of Attila’s team, Grune, who is the mother of his son too, was not at all happy with Onoria. Repeatedly she warns Attila to be careful from the enemy without weapon. He would be defeted by the enemy roams without any weapon.

Though as per his expectation, Ezio will be call back as a general, but in the battle he will be dead, and Onoria will be killed by the roman soldiers, and Valentiniano will leave Ravenna. On the eve of victory, Attila will take his son Bleda ( named after his brother) to the battlefield and will show the helpless situation of them. The boy was very scared to see. A wounded roman soldier will put his arrow to Attila, but it will miss and hit the boy to death! This will cause a psychological trauma on Attila. Finally on their way to Rome, they will face a sacred procession of people, leading by the pope Leo. He was about to kill him, but Leo will tell him in a calm voice, "You can kill everybody...old people, women, children. But remember, Attila, innocent blood won't be washed away. It will come back to you.” Perhaps this will change his mind. He will turn back towards Alps, leaving Rome untouched.



Joseph E. Levine bought the US rights to the film for $100,000 and spent $590,000 on newspaper advertising and $350,000 on radio and TV. It paid off and the film earned over $2 million.[1]

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  1. ^ a b Scheuer, P. K. (1959, Jul 27). Meet joe levine, super(sales)man! Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File). Retrieved from

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